REVIEW OF THE YEAR: JUNE Kipper Central Views: Nuttall’s Time Has Passed – Radicalism is the Future!
Editors Note: The General Election was an unmitigated disaster for UKIP with its support collapsing and many deposits lost, following hot-on-the-heels of a sound thrashing during the local elections in May. Kipper Central responded with its only editorial comment of the year, calling on Paul Nuttall to resign as leader, something he did later that day opening a 98-day long leadership contest.
Kipper Central’s editorial team has come to the conclusion that Paul’s time as leader has passed. He has done a good job in some areas but has failed miserably in others. He must accept responsibility for the awful results that have come through overnight and accept that he played an instrumental role in them. We hope he maintains a senior role within the party leadership and that his views and ideas continue to help guide the party in future, but his role should not be that of the leader in times ahead.
Allow us to explain our reasons for coming to this conclusion:
In the December leadership election, we fully backed Paul Nuttall to lead our party forward. We truly believed he would achieve three great things for our party.
Firstly, we believed Paul would unify the party. He had support from all of the party’s ‘wings’ and would be a great powerful force in united the factions. We do believe that he has done a good job of this (largely due to Carswell’s departure) and we commend him on his great work in this area, unequivocally.
Secondly, we believed he would drag UKIP into a direction away from Brexit and towards our other excellent policies, including lower taxation and cracking down on Radical Islam and crime. However, this is not been the case. While there has been a bigger focus on Islam, it has not gone far enough in some areas, such as not campaigning for a ban on Halal and not ramping up the anti-Tory rhetoric following their failure to prevent the attacks in Manchester and London. Furthermore, voices critical of Islam, notably that of Anne Marie Waters have been effectively silenced. Whatever you may think of her views they certainly have a clear constituency within UKIP and the wider country and they deserve to be heard but at the first sign of establishment media pressure, Paul buckled and pushed through her deselection as our candidate for Lewisham East.
Thirdly, we believed he would be able to gather the support of Labour voters in the North, having come from that background and understanding the issues facing this demographic. Again, this has not been the case. Seats like Hartlepool that should be prime targets, with our excellent candidate in Phillip Broughton and the great campaigning locally that has been going on. However, we have not put a huge focus on the seat because we just not popular there. This is in many ways a failure of our leadership to grasp these voters because they are exactly who UKIP should be winning over. Labour, in fact, have benefited from the collapsing UKIP vote because Mr Corbyn has offered them the radicalism they so desperately crave – it is not the radicalism they ultimately want on issues such as immigration and Islam but it is radicalism nonetheless. It is therefore not surprising that in seats such as Hartlepool we lost 16% of our vote mostly, not to the Conservatives, but to Mr Corbyn’s Labour Party. We cannot pass this point by without reference to the by-election defeat in Stoke Central which ultimately is a highly personal failing on Paul’s part as well as an indictment of his failure in the above regard. Finally, we must say clearly that UKIP does not do enough to address ‘bread and butter’ quality of life issues and address ourselves to a working-class audience that we have lost a lot of last night.
As a result of Paul’s resounding victory, we got right behind him and was convicted in my support. However, as the election campaign progressed, it became clear he was not fit for the job. He was being weak on many key issues such as the environment and taxation when we should be pushing our policies much harder. Nigel Farage is right to cite the critical weakness in our campaigning machine and Paul has failed to address that – the results speak for themselves, -36% in Clacton, for example, addressing this weakness must be the priority of an incoming leader.
We hope Paul will step down for the good of the Party and oversee a healthy leadership election, in which radical ideas and campaigns are put forward for the party, so as to maintain the style of Farage! We hope that the like of Bill Etheridge, John Rees-Evans and Anne Marie Waters stand so that radical ideologies and policies are promoted both within the party and to the wider electorate.
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